Cadbury unveils first multi-brand Christmas marketing campaign

Cadbury is to launch its first multi-brand Christmas marketing campaign later this year after admitting it has “missed  a trick” by not investing in the season as much as it does in Easter activity. 

Cadbury will launch a Christmas version of its Dairy Milk brand to support its festive push.

The confectionery giant has revamped its entire product line-up for the season, including its top Dairy Milk and Roses brands under a “Christmas Wrapping” theme in an attempt to establish a broader platform that it can start promotions “far earlier” than in previous years.  It sees the business move away from using advent calendars and limited edition variants as its main seasonal touchpoint, which it claims meant it had to start marketing “a lot later” than other brands for the period.

The push is being backed by a multi-million advertising push around the theme of “Unwrapping Joy”. A TV campaign will see the use of real fans rather than actors in Cadbury ads for the first time.

Rick Lawrence, marketing manager for Cadbury told Marketing Week, it was “sinful” that the brand has not pushed its top products over Christmas. The company plans to repeat the strategy moving forward as a way of driving sales over the competitive period.

He adds:  “We haven’t given given the brand a reason to exist other than same old reason all year round. Products like advent calendars and buttons are designed as stocking fillers for mum to give to their kids. If you’re launching any piece of NPD then driving trial and penetration is a huge opportunity and Christmas is a way for us to drive that take-up because people are buying our products anyway.”

The festive drive comes amid a wider play from Cadbury to extend the perennial appeal of chocolate. It aims to boost sales around traditionally slow summer months with activity created to encourage consumers to purchase chocolate on different occasions. It is hoped, however, its latest campaign can bolster the brand’s ties to the season and provide a base for introducing new variants to its lineup.

The UK chocolate market is worth £3.96bn, according to Mintel. Sales for the total milk chocolate category jumped 7 per cen for the 52 weeks to 13 May, according to IRI Worldwide. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk brand topped the category for the period with a 10.4 per cent rise in sales to £449.17m (see table).

Lawrence says: “As a season we would love Christmas to be a bit more like Easter. Easter has the benefit of being a 12-week season and we would love Christmas to emulate that. Some of the self eat innovations – chocolate that people have with snacks – shoppers can start to purchase earlier than advent calendars or selection boxes, which are both very seasonal and made up the bulk of our activity in the past.”

Visit Marketing Week TV here to hear more from Rick Lawrence about Cadbury’s plans for Christmas.

Top ten chococlate brands in the UK by sales and volumes – source IRI Worldwide.

Chocolate brand Value sales: (42 w/e 26 May 12 Value sales: (42 w/e 26 May 13 % CHANGE
Dairy Milk £406,803,840 £449,169,152 10.4
Galaxy £235,434,272 £231,216,096 -1.8
Kit Kat £124,131,856 £127,917,072 3.0
Maltesers £90,853,456 £107,352,496 18.2
Mars Bar £99,952,864 £106,424,096 6.5
Snickers £86,930,176 £100,745,840 15.9
Aero £87,488,984 £76,421,888 -12.6
Twirl £85,093,904 £75,920,272 -10.8
Wispa £66,849,600 £70,222,664 5.0
M&m’s £55,508,612 £68,387,680 23.2
Milky Bar £52,429,232 £59,677,892 13.8
Chocolate brand Volume sales: (42 w/e 26 May 12 Volume sales: (42 w/e 26 May 13 % CHANGE
Dairy Milk 46,614,136 48,292,716 3.6
Galaxy 23,749,486 24,349,756 2.5
Kit Kat 15,543,384 15,720,112 1.1
Maltesers 7,747,450 9,328,212 20.4
Mars Bar 15,633,753 16,564,437 6.0
Snickers 13,450,277 15,678,065 16.6
Aero 8,563,274 7,320,162 -14.5
Twirl 8,988,613 7,308,909 -18.7
Wispa 6,256,964 6,309,722 0.8
M&m’s 5,783,520 7,639,153 32.1
Milky Bar 4,084,916 4,871,105 19.2


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